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ECMC Foundation Makes $655,000 Grant to Support Minnesota Organization Offering Personalized, Self-Directed Deeper Learning

April 26, 2017

Dollars to launch EdVisions' multi-year, multi-school expansion program in Minnesota and beyond

MINNEAPOLIS— ECMC Foundation announced today it will commit $655,000 to EdVisions Schools, Inc. (EdVisions) to support the launch of the organization’s three-year expansion and revitalization initiative, which includes opening 12 new schools and providing training in deeper learning instructional practices to 25 others.

Based in Henderson, Minn., and in operation since 2000, EdVisions provides support to a network of new school startups and existing schools to learn radically different approaches to teaching, leading and deeper learning based on the EdVisions Model. Deeper learning practices prepare students for college and career by integrating the mastery of academic content with the development of key competencies, such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and effective communication, in real-world contexts. More than 40 percent of students attending EdVisions’ network of schools qualify for free or reduced price lunch and more than 30 percent receive special education services.

“The proven efficacy of deeper learning is evident in EdVisions’ programs and we are thrilled to offer our support, which will enhance the lives of students now and into the future,” said Kyle Miller, senior program director, ECMC Foundation. “Not only will this grant support EdVisions’ plan to open new schools in high-need communities in Minnesota and other locations across the country, but it also is bringing the concept of deeper learning practices to students who often don’t have access to offerings that will prepare them for life.”

The grant will allow EdVisions to begin working on a set of actions including opening 12 new schools in its network, half in Minnesota and half in other states. It will also start contracts with 25 schools to undergo whole school transformations.

“Minnesota has a long history of public school choice and the generous grant from ECMC Foundation will support quality high school educational choices for students and parents, and help the EdVisions network of innovative schools grow and better serve more young people, especially in high-need areas of the region,” said Doug Thomas, EdVisions founder and executive director. “The result will be more graduates moving on to postsecondary schools and better preparation for life, work and citizenship.”

ECMC Foundation, funded by Minneapolis-based ECMC Group, facilitates improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations.

“A survey of EdVisions schools revealed that those with the highest fidelity to the model had the strongest educational outcomes for students. This fact was critical in our decision to support EdVisions’ expansion and revitalization initiative,” Miller said. “EdVisions’ plans to strengthen its network will result in students becoming better prepared for college and career.”

About EdVisions Schools
The EdVisions model is based on its flagship school, Minnesota New Country School (MNSC), which opened in 1994. In 2006, MNSC was recognized as one of the nation’s top eight charter schools in the nation for closing the achievement gap. Recognizing its success, EdVisions was founded to build and support a national network of schools that offer deeper learning.

To date, the organization has worked with over 200 high schools nationally and internationally trained over 1,000 new teachers and administrators. It currently services almost 9,000 students at 40 small schools in 11 states. Many of its students are from underserved populations:

  • more than half of its students are students of color;
  • the majority of its students live in urban and rural areas, 62 and 42 percent, respectively; and
  • more than 40 percent are from low-income families, qualifying for free or reduced price lunch.

Learn more about EdVisions by visiting  

About ECMC Foundation
Based in Los Angeles, ECMC Foundation’s mission is inspire and facilitate improvements that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation. The Foundation makes investments in three focus areas: Teacher and Leader Development, College Success, and Career Readiness. It is one of several affiliates under the ECMC Group enterprise based in Minneapolis. Learn more about ECMC Foundation by visiting and ECMC Group by visiting

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